Proverbs 17
New King James Version Par ▾ 

The Lord Tests Hearts

1Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of [a]feasting with strife.

2A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers.

3The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.

4An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a [b]spiteful tongue.

5He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

6Children’s children are the crown of old men,
And the glory of children is their father.

7Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
Much less lying lips to a prince.

8A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;
Wherever he turns, he prospers.

9He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

10Rebuke is more effective for a wise man
Than a hundred blows on a fool.

11An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.

13Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.

14The beginning of strife is like releasing water;
Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

15He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

16Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom,
Since he has no heart for it?

17A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.

18A man devoid of [c]understanding [d]shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes [e]surety for his friend.

19He who loves transgression loves strife,
And he who exalts his gate seeks destruction.

20He who has a [f]deceitful heart finds no good,
And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.

21He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy.

22A merry heart [g]does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

23A wicked man accepts a bribe [h]behind the back
To pervert the ways of justice.

24Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding,
But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

25A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him.

26Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.

27He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
28Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace;
When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.


  1. Proverbs 17:1 Or sacrificial meals
  2. Proverbs 17:4 Lit. destructive
  3. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. heart
  4. Proverbs 17:18 Lit. strikes the hands
  5. Proverbs 17:18 guaranty or collateral
  6. Proverbs 17:20 crooked
  7. Proverbs 17:22 Or makes medicine even better
  8. Proverbs 17:23 Under cover, lit. from the bosom
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

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